Small and emerging contractors across the Eastern Cape are taking advantage of opportunities to establish themselves created by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
“From the very first time contractors moved on site there has been a strong emphasis on creating opportunities for small businesses,” says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, Head of CDC Marketing and Communications.
At present a minimum of 35 per cent of the value of two of the current projects in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has been allocated to small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs).
Seven SMME companies are providing bricklaying, welding and tiling services to the main contractors involved in the provision of bulk municipal services in Zone 7.
At least eight SMME companies will assist with the provision of civil works, sewerage and water for a new factory being built in the IDZ for Malaysian packaging company Lension.
“The CDC was one of the first organisations in the country to structure SMME-friendly tenders. Our tenders are broken down into smaller bite-sized work suitable for smaller contractors,” said Andile Ntloko, CDC SMME unit head.
“One of the conditions of the awarding of the two tenders was that a minimum of 35 per cent of the value of the project be sub-contracted to SMME companies. Compliance to this requirement is monitored by the CDC,” adds Ntloko.
SMME contractors working on CDC-managed projects in the IDZ and the rest of the country are given support to ensure that they are able to deliver high quality work, according to Dr Vilakazi.
“Our objective from the start of construction of the IDZ in 2002 has been to empower SMME companies to grow,” he adds.
A dedicated team of technical managers and mentors provide technical and business support to SMMEs through from start to finish of every project in which they are involved.
“This allows the main contractor to focus on getting the work done on time and on budget, while the SMME delivers quality work and grows its technical and business skills at the same time,” says Ntloko.
In addition the CDC hosts compliance workshops across the Eastern Cape with the aim to encourage SMMEs to comply with the legislation affecting their business growth.
“The Unit also provides accredited training relating to finance, tendering and pricing, business management, and health and safety management,” says Dr Vilakazi.
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